Racing: Alwin riding on the Yin luck

Quite often, a change of name brings instant luck to horses.

For trainer Alwin Tan, the change has ushered in good fortune, with his stable firing in all cylinders in the last couple of months.

Tan, 47, has streaked clear in the trainer's premiership with his treble yesterday taking him to 12 winners, three more than second-place dead-heaters, eight-time champion Laurie Laxon, Brian Dean, Cliff Brown and Hideyuki Takaoka.

He won with The New Paper on Sunday tipster Larry Foley's best bet LASER STORM in Race 2, PERFECT CHALLENGER in Race 6 and hat-trick hero HAPPY MONEY in Race 7.

Only last December, Tan changed his Chinese middle name through the advice of a Taiwanese fengshui master.

His Chinese name in his identity card is now Tan Yin Wang. His Yin character means win in Chinese.

Previously, his Chinese middle name was Hai, which means sea.

"The fengshui master said Hai is very unstable and not suitable for horse-racing. It's more for transportation," said Tan, smiling broadly at the Champagne Room after Happy Money's victory.

"Hopefully, my luck will keep up."

Then he smiled and shook his head: "A lot of pressure. It's hard against the big stables but I will try my best."

While he changed his Chinese middle name, Tan retained his English name as Tan Hai Wang on his identity card.


Laser Storm, who finished second in two earlier starts, was third-time lucky with a runaway success with apprentice Tan We Li astride.

At the top of the straight, one didn't think that the three-year-old could pull off such a big winning margin, as he was battling on the inside behind leader Aureus and November Star.

But his rider persevered and it took his mount some time to go through a gap between the rail and the front-runner to score by four and a quarter lengths.

"I think he's still a bit green," said trainer Tan.

"At the 300m, he hesitated and took some time to overtake the leader.

"He's got a bit of potential. But, in his future runs, I'll put the blinkers to sharpen him up a bit more."


It was a case of the jockey picking the wrong horse with Perfect Challenger.

The three-year-old's regular jockey, Oscar Chavez, opted for his other "bicycle", Soon Yi.

The Panama-born rider almost got it right. The Sam Chua-trained runner, after travelling nicely on the fence, shot up and looked poised to win.

But jockey John Powell, who rode a patient race, brought Perfect Challenger from the rear to straighten up wide for a clear run.

He joined Soon Yi at the mid-straight and got the better by a head after a dingdong battle.

Said Tan: "I offered Oscar the ride but he chose the other horse. I believe it's luck. Racing is all about luck."


Tan said he would give Happy Money a break after his hard run yesterday, when his charge ran 8kg lighter than his last win (from 472kg to 464kg).

"At first, I was thinking about the Singapore Three-Year-Old series but, at the moment, I think I'll give him a break," he said.

"We'll see how he goes the later part of the year."

Happy Money has now chalked up three straight wins, a second and a third from as many starts, taking his prize money to about $100,000.

The fengshui master said Hai is very unstable and not suitable for horse-racing. It's more for transportation. Hopefully, my luck will keep up. - Trainer Alwin Tan (right), on his wonderful trot after his name change.

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